Zimbabwe Cricket is in turmoil, faces ICC suspension

June 25th, 2008 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

London/Durban, June 25 (IANS) Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) plunged into severe crisis after its loyal ally Cricket South Africa (CSA) snapped all its ties with the country and the International Cricket Council (ICC) called an emergency discussion to review the fall-out. ICC President Ray Mali, who had strongly defended Zimbabwe’s right to play international cricket, tabled an emergency discussion about the situation after strong pressure from his country’s cricket establishment CSA and the British government, according to a report in The Guardian Wednesday.

ICC had taken the stance of ignoring political situation in Zimbabwe and allowing it to continue with its cricket but now a suspension from international cricket is looming large on the southern African country when the world governing body discusses the issue at its executive meeting in Dubai next week.

After Zimbabwe was plunged into violence and intimidation, South Africa announced that they had suspended all bilateral cricket agreements with Zimbabwe — most immediately, withdrawing development programmes and the invitation to play in their domestic tournaments.

The current generation of South African players are horrified by the anarchy being unleashed in Zimbabwe and refused to play against any national or provincial teams from the country which led CSA to its current stand.

CSA had included Zimbabwe in its domestic competitions last summer to try to improve its woeful standard, although the practical implementation descended into chaos.

CSA Wednesday announced its decision to review its stand in the light of worsening situation in Zimbabwe.

“We have decided to suspend our bilateral agreements with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union until further notice. In the past, CSA has defended Zimbabwe cricket against heavy odds, but the general situation in Zimbabwe has now made this untenable,” CSA president Norman Arendse said.

“We will continue to comply with the ICC’s Future Tours Program regarding Zimbabwe, as we are bound to this program as a full member of the ICC.

“However, CSA will suspend its bilateral agreements with ZC, which includes development and administrative program, and the participation of Zimbabwe teams in CSA’s domestic competitions.”

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